Discrimination by perception or presumption
Although the concept of discrimination by perception has been around for a few years, this point has rarely been litigated and in February 2019 the courts upheld a judgement from the EAT upholding a claim by a police constable on the basis of Norfolk Constabulary perceiving her hearing loss to be a disability which they thought would deteriorate and require reasonable adjustments in the future that they would not be able to accommodate. The result of this perception was that the police force over looked the employee for a promotion.
Ignorance is no defence to the law.
In the City of York Council v Grosset the Court of Appeal concluded that an employer could be liable for discrimination arising from disability even when it was unaware that the disability caused the misconduct Mr Grosset, a teacher, had been dismissed for showing an 18 rated film to his class of 15 year olds but the reason for doing so was stress brought on by his disability – something the employer was not aware of at the time of the dismissal.
September 2018 saw the annual employment tribunal statistics being published (for 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018). , the number of applications surged from 88,461 in 2016/17 to 109,685 for 2017/2018. The final figures for 2018/2019 are due to be released shortly. Needless to say the trend from the quartile figures indicate the increase in disability discrimination cases has continued to climb at an alarming rate through 2019.
Woman with depression awarded £35k when employer refused her flexi time.
Other large awards
EMPLOYEE AWARDED £257,127
Turner v DHL Services Ltd and another ET/1201134/2012
EMPLOYEE AWARDED £239,913
Marcelin v Hewlett Packard Ltd ET/2703017/2012
EMPLOYEE AWARDED £223,869
O’Sullivan v London Underground Ltd ET/2202553/2010